CHENNAI: Ashish Kumar has been sleeping peacefully of late. Able to express himself doing what he does best, the 2019 Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist is presently at Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS), Vijayanagar (Karnataka).
Not so long ago, that was not the case. Stranded at his village in Himachal Pradesh, the 75kg boxer was coping well during the early days of the lockdown that began in late March. But as the days wore on, it became a tricky phase as restrictions meant restrained practice.
“Sportspersons are used to practising hard and sweating buckets. As that was not possible at home, I was finding it hard to get proper sleep. It was tough,” the JSW Sports-backed pugilist recalled. And with the virus showing no respite throughout the country, the national camp had also been put on hold. It was a mental battle for Ashish to keep himself motivated. That’s when he decided to leave his hometown and get some action at IIS.
“The first month (lockdown) was fine, but after that, it was becoming increasingly difficult. I was looking to go out and train. I was hoping that the camp would begin soon but that was also not happening.”
He revealed that it has been almost four weeks since he reached Bellary in Vijayanagar. After the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, the Olympic-bound boxer said he’s currently undergoing rehabilitation under the watch of experts at the centre.
“I have an old injury. I had twisted my leg and had pain in my ankle for some time. I have been undergoing treatment also. I have made improvements on that front. It has been around 10 days or so. My main focus is gaining strength in the lower body and under the guidance of experts here, I have been doing exercises related to that,” the 25-year-old said.
n terms of boxing, he is determined to cut down on unwanted punches and be more prudent in his approach to the game. After much delay, the training camp is finally due to begin soon. Ashish wants to stay back for a month at least and complete his rehab and then join Patiala training.